Diplomacy and Frontier Policy in the Reimagination of China, 1350-1450


Luce/ACLS Travel Grants in China Studies




This project traces how agents of the Mongol-Yuan Empire, from 1206 to 1368, and Ming Empire, from 1368 to1644, serving in Yunnan negotiated imperial sovereignty within indigenous society and facilitated the interactions of their courts with mainland Southeast Asian polities. The project focuses on nobles in hereditary military frontier positions, Chinese officials serving in exile in Yunnan, and local indigenous elites collaborating with the Yuan and Ming by looking at local gazetteers, tomb and temple epitaphs, and family genealogies. This work argues that it was the dynasty's representatives on site with whom many Southeast Asian monarchs and officials interacted, and who were thus in a real sense the makers of Yuan and Ming foreign policy on the ground.